Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's dark tale of an unsolved murder, revenge and the supernatural. When the young Friedrich Mergel goes to work for his uncle, he is quickly drawn into a world of shady business dealings and a ruthless band of wood-thieves. But on the night when Friedrich quarrels with Aaron the Jew, he subsequently disappears, together with his illegitimate cousin John Nobody. Shortly afterwards, Aaron is found murdered. Friedrich's disappearance is considered suspicious - but as time passes, the case and the characters are forgotten. The only thing that remains is a strange Hebrew inscription on the beech-tree where the murder took place. But twenty-eight years later, John Nobody reappears and strange things start to happen.